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Zardozi’s VRC Oaks victory a feather in the cap for international relations


Zardozi continued a superb run of form at Flemington on Thursday as she posted a breakthrough G1 success with a stunning display in the VRC Oaks.

The progressive filly, who had won the G2 Manifold Stakes and finished a short-head second in the G2 Wakeful Stakes on her two previous visits to the Melbourne course, took her form to a new level with a dominant two-and-a-quarter-length victory.

Born in Australia, Zardozi boasts a distinctly European pedigree. Her mother Chanderi is a daughter of Dubawi who comes from the same family as Ibn Khaldun.

Chanderi was transferred from the European band of mares to Australia, but not before being covered by Kingman to southern hemisphere time. Now a hugely valuable breeding prospect, Zardozi could bid for further G1 honours in the ATC Oaks at Randwick in the autumn.

Hedwig only made the reserve list for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint earlier in the month but gained some compensation as he captured an allowance optional claimer at Del Mar on Saturday.

Nash looks a juvenile to follow in North America following a comprehensive win at Churchill Downs on Sunday. Off Trail notched a first success for his sire Farhh in Japan on the same day, while Theurgist took his record to five wins from seven dirt starts when taking a Tokyo allowance race.

Pattern company beckons for the lightly raced English Rose after the daughter of Frankel, who is out of the G1 winner Sobetsu, maintained an unbeaten start to her career at Kempton Park on Monday.

Bahrain hosts its biggest race of the year this Friday and the royal blue silks will be out in force with five contenders for the G2 Bahrain International Trophy including the 2022 winner Dubai Future.

Nations Pride, successful in G1 races in Germany and Canada on his last two starts, will be aiming for another major prize, while Highland Avenue, Real World and Birr Castle also due to run in the US$1m contest.